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Brandon welcomes Berens River wildfire evacuees

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: July 21, 2021 09:56

130 forest fires currently burning in Manitoba

Image - Berens River 9:00 am July 21/21 - Melanie Semple (Facebook)

Brandon is welcoming residents of Berens River First Nation as they flee a nearby wildfire.

It's the second time in about eight years residents have had to evacuate the community on Manitoba's eastern border. Reports say the evacuees are mostly women, children, disabled indviduals and the elderly and they'll be staying in hotels in Brandon.

In an emailed news release, The Canadian Red Cross says it "continues its support today of the evacuations of four First Nations in eastern Manitoba due to wildfires and smoke.

The full evacuations of Pauingassi First Nation and Little Grand Rapids First Nation were completed on July 19. The Red Cross coordinated all flights out of the two communities to Winnipeg, where the people evacuated from the two communities are currently staying in hotels. The complete evacuation of Bloodvein First Nation continues today (July 20). Community members are travelling in vehicles from the community to Winnipeg, where they are staying in hotels."

Reports Wednesday (July 21) indicate the number of evacuees has grown from 1,300 to more than 1,600. 

The Canadian Red Cross says its team is following COVID-19 health protocols and guidelines in delivering support to people, adding there are currently no COVID-19 outbreaks in any of the four communities.

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